List of Sea Turtles That Live in Florida
- Green turtles live in and nest in the Caribbean Sea, but up to 2,000 nests can be found off the coast of Florida every year. For centuries, these turtles were hunted and their meat was made into soup. This greatly reduced their numbers, as did gathering their eggs, which, for a time, were also consumed in great numbers and considered a delicacy. These turtles feed on ocean plant life and many travel thousands of miles just to nest in the Caribbean and mid-Atlantic. They are so named for the green color that both their bodies and their shells have, making them more difficult for predators to spot in certain areas of the ocean.
- Leatherback turtles are endangered, yet are the most active of all sea turtles.These turtles are up to 8 feet in length and have a rubbery dark shell. The surface of the shell has rows of ridges running length-wise, which is an important identifying marker for the Leatherbacks. These turtles travel thousands of miles to breed around Florida, with one recorded traveling over 12,000 miles according to LiveScience.com, from Indonesia to Oregon, to breed. They also venture into very cold water, feeding on jellyfish and soft bodied animals. However this also causes them to feed on trash in the oceans. The ingestion of plastic litter kills many leatherbacks, placing them on the endangered species list. About 200 nest around Florida every year.
- The most common sea turtle in the waters around the state of Florida, Loggerhead turtles are considered threatened but not endangered. Named because of their large heads, these turtles have powerful jaws which can crush their prey when they attacks, with their mouth being 10 inches wide. Loggerheads feed on clams, crabs and other animals with thick shells that they can crack with their beak-like mouth. The nests of these sea turtles number in the tens of thousands every year across the state of Florida.